Creating a National Culture of Learning

The Forum for Education and Democracy’s Recommendations for the Reauthorization of ESEA

Inspiration, hunger: these are the qualities that drive good schools. The best we educational planners can do is to create the most likely conditions for them to flourish, and then get out of their way.
– Ted Sizer

As individuals with decades of experience in improving public education at all levels, the Conveners of The Forum for Education and Democracy view the upcoming debates over the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) as offering the opportunity to finally get it right.  After a decade of tinkering around the edges and avoiding the hard questions, the so-called No Child Left Behind version of ESEA has done little to improve schools. In fact, our schools look much like they did when the act was passed – and many think that NCLB hindered school improvement efforts that were going on prior to its passage.

Given this standard, the Forum is both encouraged by and cautious about the approach presented in the Obama Administration’s recently released “Blueprint for Reform."

Read The Forum's Recommendations for the Reauthorization of ESEA. (pdf)

Read The Forum's letter to the HELP committee.